Nobody in our Irish tradition that I have read has spoken of ‘the Good Friday’ experience and the human condition like John Moriarty(1938-2007). On page 94 of his first book Dreamtime(1994), he made this profound statement ; ‘I cannot find you, God. And the reason I cannot find you is simple : it is with that in me that eclipses you that I seek you.’
Here’s how John speaks to suffering and Good Friday in Dreamtime(and I summarise here) :
“Metamorphosis in insects is a change in form. A caterpillar becomes a butterfly. A nymph becomes a dragonfly. The suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus, for us humans is going beyond form. It is the ego losing itself in the divine. If I undergo this I’m engulfed and swallowed up in it, it’s like being evaporated. Put a saucepan of well water over a turf fire. I am boiled away, saucepan and all.”
Today is Good Friday. Rosemary Haughton wrote of today: “The cry of Jesus on the Cross at the very end was, therefore the cry of awareness that all was indeed accomplished…..Jesus gave back to the one he loved the unshackled fullness of love, and in so doing carry with him on the surge of that passion….and that’s the moment of resurrection….for the resurrection is not a single event but the ever extending outflow of the energy previously dammed up by sin and death.”(The Passionate God).
This is a Processional Cross dated 1479AD, belonging to Lislaughtin Friary. In 1871, a few miles from here, John Jeffcott was ploughing his field in Ballylongford when he found it. He kept it at home for 18 years before handing it over to the National Museum, where it now can be seen in one room with The Ardagh Chalice. The wood of the Cross brings forth leaves of new life.